The former manager and assistant manager of the Cal State Northridge computer store face trial on criminal charges for allegedly stealing personal computers, memory chips and other electronic merchandise worth more than $150,000, authorities said.
Viggen Babayan, 43, and his girlfriend, Anahid Nejad, 37, have been charged with grand theft by embezzlement and receiving stolen goods--felony crimes that carry penalties of up to five years in prison, Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman said. The date of their preliminary hearing will be decided Sept. 18.
The suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The thefts are prompting the closure of NetWorks, the computer and electronics store inside the school's Matador Bookstore, according to Don Miller, associate director and controller of the University Corp., an auxiliary of Cal State Northridge that operates the concession independent of campus funding.
More than $260,000 was stolen from the store last year, the largest such loss in the history of campus concessions. Authorities believe most of the loss to be linked to the couple. University Corp. officials plan to close NetWorks once they are free of a contract obligation to a computer manufacturer, saying the outlet has turned out to be more trouble than it is worth.